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Side-scrolling platformers were always true legends back in the day! From Mario Bros. to Sonic the Hedgehog, all had high hopes and succeeded! But between the two franchises was another that Capcom had in their hands and never failed me (except Megaman X7... That was epic fail!): The Blue Bomber, himself: Megaman (who in Japan is originally known as "Rockman", which I slightly prefer). Megaman games were always up towards the point of where the plot, while canonical, is extremely good: it always begins with Megaman trying to persuade the other Robot Masters since they were brainwashed by Dr. Wily, and then the latter trying to fight the insane professor and save the day! Megaman's allies are, as follows: Roll (this female robot that is more like a sister than some girlfriend), Dr. Light (the mastermind behind the creation of the Robot Masters, including Megaman), Proto Man (Megaman's brother, who is known in Japan as "Blues"), and some others... But I can't get them all! Now as you can see, Capcom went from legendary, to amusing, to good, and then to absurd. The first six Megaman titles were in 8-Bit style, whereas Megaman 7, 8, and Megaman & Bass were all 16-Bit... Eventually, the more recent Megaman 9 and 10 titles returned to the classic 8-Bit style due to some slowness of the 16-Bit titles. I'm not going into depth on any of the Mega Man X installments, either! But Today, my official reviews will be kicking off with a favorite of mine from the series: Megaman 8! It was originally released in Japan as "Rockman 8: Metal Heroes" and released for the Playstation and Sega Saturn consoles between the years of 1996 and 1998. This features a couple of firsts that are quite suitable: Mega Man being able to swim (although this was present in the DOS titles), anime-styled full-motion videos (FMV) that tell the story of the title from start to finish, and also marking the tenth anniversary (Megaman series debuted in 1987, and this title was released in 1997). The gameplay mechanics are well-designed, and so are the levels (although to be honest, the Astro Man stage is absolute shit for one thing: mazes!!!). Mega Man 8's Playstation and Sega Saturn versions are different in terms of special features, graphical effects, the addition of Cut Man and Wood Man in the SS port, and some musical changes! This title was also re-released for the Gamecube and Playstation 2 as part of "Mega Man: Anniversary Collection" on June 22, 2004, and later for the Xbox in March 15, 2005. The MMAC version of Mega Man 8 does follow the Playstation version, which I was pretty bummed about... The true port for me was of course the Sega Saturn! The Robot Masters you also fight in this title can be ridiculously easy, however (for the Saturn port, they're stronger than usual... But that can never be proven!)... Two of the Robot Masters from Mega Man 8, Tengu Man and Astro Man, have been brought back to Mega Man & Bass released in Japan only for the Super Famicom (Super Nintendo overseas), but finally saw a North American version headed towards the Game Boy Advance somewhere in 2002. According to the story, it's set in 20XX and involves a pair of strange beings brawling each other in the outskirts of space. When colliding with each other, they fall into the Earth... Who was working in Capcom at the time, and what was he or she on when they thought of that?!?!?! {Sigh} Moving on. Meanwhile, Megaman and Bass (originally known as Forte in Japan, and debuted in Mega Man 7 along with Treble) are fighting, but it doesn't last long since Roll calls Mega Man to come back with here. Bass won't let that happen, but finds out that he is stuck on some circuit (or I dunno), and says that Megaman should pay for his insult... What do you mean by insult, Bass? You wanna keep acting like Macho Man Randy Savage, then go right ahead! You can never defeat the Blue Bomber, anyway. But for now, let's not go any further since the official Mega Man Wiki has that all (http://megaman.wikia.com/wiki/Mega_Man_8)! Okay, what you do is that your objective is to beat all of the eight Robot Masters and then proceed to Dr. Wily's castle and then for stage one, Bliking for the second stage, Bass and Treble as mid bosses for stage three and the Green Devil as the main boss, and then for the final stage, you must beat all the Robot Masters again and then Wily Machine No. 8 and the Wily Capsule... Phew! Too much information! Let's go into more exciting and somewhat disappointing trivial facts: first and foremost, there was a Robot Master contest for this particular title that three of the six Robot Masters needed to have a specific appearance, which featured one with a sword and separable body, one with two heads, each with a different personality, and another with long, extendable arms... This later became the designs for Sword Man, Search Man, and of course, Clown Man! My reason for liking these and other robot designs are pretty self-explanatory on its own, yet you'll have to see why. Another thing is that Mega Man 8's the first title that Capcom never bothered "Americanizing" the box art (excluding Mega Man 6, since it wasn't published in America by the company, themselves)... Huh??? This marks Duo's first (and chronological) appearance, where he would eventually appear in later games including Mega Man: Power Battle, Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters, and later Battle Network installments. The Super Adapter from Mega Man 7 also didn't return, yet Bass still has that, and since the first game, this is the only title to not include any Energy Tanks... What the hell is going on here!?!? And to make matters worse, there are two typos you will find here (although it's not a real problem, maybe Capcom made a mistake... forgive the people, please!) and worst of all in a Mega Man title: voice acting!! I was waiting to come up to this topic and want to just explain to you this one feature that shouldn't have existed! The Mega Man Legends titles had some unique acting and performance, both the Ruby-Spears cartoon and the Battle Network anime shows had decent voicing standards (Ruby-Spears, on the other hand, is on top of its game!), Mega Man X titles starting with Command Mission towards Maverick Hunter X were just near-perfect when it comes to English voice acting, and even the remake for the first Mega Man video game, Mega Man: Powered Up (Originally released as "Rockman Rockman" in Japan... Meh) had voice acting that many would prefer to stay out of the bad side! Japanese vocals are prefered more for me and even the majority of the fans for Mega Man 8, as well as Mega Man X4 and X7 (although X7's voice acting wasn't truly that bad... There were a few nitpicks for that one!). Dr. Light just sounds too similar to Elmer Fudd here (especially pronouncing Dr. Wily as "Dogtah Wahwee" and then energy as "enahgee"). What's more profound is that Mega Man still sounds like some whiny female (according to Capcom from what I've heard, Ruth Shiraishi was only 10 years old when she did the voice acting for Mega Man here... what I wanna know is this: did she have any experience?). The Robot Masters when it comes to this aren't even great either (only Sword Man I can take seriously... he, Proto Man, and Dr. Wily are near the only three performances there that didn't annoy the heebie-jeebies outta me!)... With that out of the way, however, Mega Man 8 is actually a very fun title for the series and marking the tenth anniversary, it was sure worthy for that! The music, while not being as far-fetched as the previous entries for the series, was still catchy and clever, and the graphics quality was pretty good in a way... The storyline, however, is just fantastic... there is some absurdness along the way, but nothing too serious or to laugh about! So to end it off, I give Mega Man 8 a solid 8.0 out of 10!

Final Verdict

Pros

  • Awesome music, if not as nostalgic as you think!
  • Sporting Robot Master designs are obvious
  • The anime-style full-motion videos could've been made into a full anime series, or even an OVA!
  • Gameplay is fresh and something out of the hidden treasures
  • Unique story
  • Great cast of characters, overall

Cons

  • The pronunciation of Bass's name in the American version of Mega Man 8 should be like "Base", or as in the bass guitar... NOT like a fish!
  • Robot Masters are easy when it comes to fighting them, but the strategies are a little more annoying
  • The voice acting is just... Just... {Shivers uncomfortably}

Final vote

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